Callum Pilgrim of the Fraser Valley Fusion 97A softball team slides into second base during recent tournament action in Delta. The Fusion are gearing up for the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

Callum Pilgrim of the Fraser Valley Fusion 97A softball team slides into second base during recent tournament action in Delta. The Fusion are gearing up for the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

Fusion aim to impress at Canadian Open

Prestigious international softball tournament runs July 11-21 in Surrey.

Two weeks from now, when Callum Pilgrim hits the field for the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship with her Fraser Valley Fusion 97A squad, it will mark her third straight year participating in the prestigious tournament.

But without a doubt, this year’s edition is the most pressure-laden.

Pilgrim, like the vast majority of her teammates, just put the finishing touches on her Grade 11 school year and is heading into Grade 12 in the fall. That means this summer is pivotal in terms of auditioning for post-secondary scholarships. And the Canadian Open, a massive event running July 11-21 in Surrey, is a magnet for university coaches and scouts.

“It would be cool to see some scouts there,” centre fielder Pilgrim said, reflecting on  the scholarship scrutiny. “But hopefully it doesn’t make us nervous, and we won’t do anything we wouldn’t normally do on the field.”

The Fusion are a regional rep club, and Pilgrim is one of two Abbotsford players on the 97A squad – shortstop Mikaila Kerr is the other. Head coach Gord O’Grady speaks highly of both in terms of both their talent and their coachability.

O’Grady has been with this group of Fusion players for the past six years, and though they had a fair amount of roster turnover heading into this season, they’ve heated up of late, reeling off a recent seven-game winning streak in league play.

“I’m a fair-weather guy, and we don’t go in a lot of early-season tournaments because the weather is so up and down in April,” he said with a chuckle. “But as we’re coming towards the Canadian Open and provincials, it’s the right time to be peaking.”

“Early in the season we were just trying to get chemistry going,” Pilgrim echoed. “But lately we’ve been really gelling, hitting well, and it’s good to see that coming together going into provincials and the Canadian Open. Hopefully we’ll do really well.”

The Fusion 97A are playing in the Future Gold U19 division at the Canadian Open, which features the New Zealand youth team along with squads from across Canada and seven U.S. states.

Two other Fusion regional teams are also participating in the Canadian Open – the 98 and 99 squads are in the Showcase Gold 16-and-under division.

The Canadian Open brings together more than 1,300 athletes in multiple age classes, with over 350 games hosted at three locations in Surrey – Softball City, Cloverdale Athletic Park and Sunnyside Park. The women’s international division features national teams from Canada, the U.S., Mexico and 2012 world champion Japan. For more information, visit

Just Posted

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read